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A federal registered partnership in Geneva

Procedures, documents required or matrimonial regimes: this page presents all the useful information for people of the same sex wishing to register a partnership. It explains any legal impacts of the registered partnership, in particular concerning taxes or surnames.

Opening hours: 8h30 to 11h45 and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Des mains d'hommes signant les papiers de partenariat.

In contrast to a marriage, a federal registered partnership is not governed by the Swiss Civil Code but by a federal law which took effect on 1 January 2007 (LPart). Valid throughout Switzerland, it is reserved for people of the same sex who wish to have their cohabitation and status as a couple recognised.

Procedure for registering a partnership

The procedure for registering a federal partnership is divided into two stages:

Preliminary procedure

During the preliminary procedure, the partners are required to submit a request with a view to registering their partnership to the civil registry office in the place of residence of one or other partner accompanied by several official documents. This procedure can take several weeks or several months (in particular if foreign documents need to be legalised).

Consequently, the partners are advised not to set a date to celebrate the registration of their partnership before completing the preliminary procedure. The registry office declines, in advance, all liability for costs resulting from the cancellation or postponement of the celebration.

Celebrating the partnership

The details of the ceremony are determined in agreement with the civil registry office during the preliminary procedure. Once this procedure has been completed, the partnership can be concluded. If the partnership is registered in the City of Geneva, the celebration can be held from Monday to Friday and on some Saturday mornings. All information concerning the registration of the partnership as well as the possible dates and times for a celebration in the City of Geneva can be found on the following procedures page:

Conditions for having a partnership registered

If you wish to have your partnership registered, you and your partner must satisfy the following conditions:

  • be of the same sex;
  • be aged 18 and be capable of discernment;
  • not have any close family tie to your partner;
  • prove that any previous marriage or partnership has been annulled or dissolved;
  • one of you must have Swiss nationality or be resident in Switzerland;
  • for partners who are not Swiss citizens, you must establish the legality of your residence in Switzerland during the preliminary partnership procedure. In the absence of a valid residence permit, the civil registry office will be obliged to refuse to conclude the partnership.

New marital status

The official designation is “bound by a registered partnership” and respectively “partnership dissolved” after legal dissolution of the partnership or the death of one or other partner.

The marital status must always be indicated on official forms and in correspondence with the authorities.

Choice of surname and identity papers 

The partners retain their surname but, since 1 January 2013, they have also had the option of using the unmarried name of one of the partners as a common name.

If the surname is changed after a partnership is concluded, you must renew several official documents, including your identity documents.

Registered partnership, nationality and right of citizenship

The registered partnership has no impact on the right of citizenship.

With regard to a foreign partner acquiring Swiss nationality, the law does not provide for the possibility of obtaining Swiss naturalisation by means of a facilitated procedure as is the case for the foreign spouse of a Swiss national.

Recognition of a same-sex partnership or marriage celebrated abroad

A same-sex partnership or marriage duly celebrated abroad is recognised as a registered partnership in Switzerland if it complies with the principles of Swiss law.

Dissolution of the partnership

Couples bound by a registered partnership can terminate it. To dissolve a partnership, a request must be submitted to the relevant judge in the canton in which the partners, or one of the partners, are/is resident.


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Article modifié le 03.01.2022 à 08:13